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  1. #1
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    Default How To Add Dimensions To a Drawing?

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    I'm a total newbie and totally flummoxed by the help screens of AutoCad.

    I've had some help from members on this forum and I've drawn a four sided figure which has accurate dimensions, lengths and angles, for a building block.

    So then I move onto adding the dimensions and I do the best I can to follow the help screens. All they seem to do is extoll or list the wonderful things you can do without ever telling you how to do them.

    So I stumbled along and created dimensions, on the Layout views as they suggested.

    Now the dimension of the line I drew was 28.74metres.
    Layout one gave me a dimension of 4.8676 metres.
    Layout two gave me a dimension of 2.4422 metres.

    What is wrong with this program?

    Can anyone help me with this? How can I get the thing to display the lengths it already took in and drew?

    regards,

    ab

    p.s. I'm pretty sure I'm setup for metres and that's what I inputted. But the output, being obviously different, could be in anything from feet and inches to

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by abrogard View Post
    What is wrong with this program?
    Nothing is wrong with the program. You just don't know how to use it. Autocad is not the type of program that you just pick up and start using right out of the box. It is a very complex and powerful program that requires training and lots of practice. I would suggest you enroll in a class or get yourself a good book, but either way, you cannot expect to learn how to use this program overnight. Most of us have been using Autocad for many years and we still don't know everything there is to know about it.

    The reason your dimensions are not displaying correctly is most likely because you have not set up your viewport to scale and you probably have not created a dimension style or you have not created it correctly.

    Check here for information about layouts and viewports: http://www.we-r-here.com/cad/tutorials/level_2/2-8.htm

    Check here for information about dimensions: http://www.we-r-here.com/cad/tutorials/level_4/4-11.htm
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  3. #3
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    Study 'n practice, you'll learn what you need. Nothing is wrong with your CAD program.

    Here's some more study
    http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/course/48-...iles/frame.htm
    Tankman

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  4. #4
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    Just out of curiosity where are your dimensions located? In model space? Or are you dimensioning in your layout?
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  5. #5
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    Well, like I said, the dimensions are in the Layout spaces.

    Since then I've gone back and tried dimensioning in the workspace and it has all come good. Now I've got a printout with correct dimensions showing.

    Regarding this stuff about 'complex, powerful' programmes and not using out of the box and doing courses and not knowing everything after years of study and use.

    I've run across this attitude before, with Adobe Premiere.

    I disagree with it.

    Note: I do not disagree with the contention that you cannot know all the features of the prog straight out of the box.

    I do not disagree with the contention that it is complex and powerful programme.

    But I do insist that it is not as good as its lovers think - simply because it does not do simple things straight out of the box.

    And I do insist one should be able to do that

    And I point out that no one, especially me, is wanting, expecting, needing or even vaguely thinking of knowing all about Autocad straight out of the box.

    We just want to use it to do simple, obvious, straightforward, commonplace things straight out of the box.

    There's many a complex, powerful programme in common use, not requiring months of training. Try your ATM. Think of airplanes.

    I was a programmer and I was forced to learn very early in my career that the User Is King. The User must get what he wants. So if the user insists upon doing ridiculous things that crash the programme you just have to rewrite the prog so's it can't be crashed that way.

    In the beginning of programming, old dudes might remember, we used to have progs by the score and even operating systems that could and would be crashed by little kids hitting unexpected key sequences.

    You don't see that any more. Any more than you see motor cars by the side of the highway with their engines boiling. Or motor bikes with a pool of oil under their sumps.

    Times change, technology changes, manufacturers (of computer progs amongst other things) learn by their mistakes and do it better.

    Study for months? We used to have rooms of shelves devoted entirely to the manuals. Have you ever seen the Manual set for the VAX Minicomputer? There was never a prog came out without a set of manuals. Everyone was studying all the time. By the time you reached the end of your study your prog was obsolete, replaced by something that did it easier, quicker.

    That's what computer programming is all about: the programmer puts all the thinking into the prog so's you don't have to do it. If there's ever anything that is hard, difficult, non-intuitive, it is for the programmer to anticipate it and write it in so's it is transparent to the user.

    Defaults are a major part of any prog. You must choose sensible non-conflicting defaults, so's your prog behaves itself in the absence of logical or acceptable choices from the user.

    Autocard seems to default to an inert or unworkable state in the hands of a novice, that's a no-no.

    Help screens are a skill and an art. They too must respond to the over-riding acronym of computing: KISS. Keep It Simple, Stupid.

    The help screens in Autocad send me round in circles still not knowing how to do the simplest thing.

    I programmed for the government, so my progs weren't vying for the sales dollar. But they were still exposed to all those normal market forces I've spoken about: the need for simplicity, for sensible defaults, for idiot-proof crash-proofing and lucid help screens and technology.

    And government outsourced much work, it became the fashion. And we inside got to see how the private world of computing worked. We saw simple tasks compounded into great tasks that would suck millions of dollars out of the government. We saw large tasks (a nationwide database of job vacancies and job matching ) become a multi million dollar rort for years and end in total failure, a shambles.

    We saw how everyone in the private world, not illogically, when you think of it, makes a great big thing out of his own little section of the job: the coders of each little segment of the job, the marketers, the help screen writers and within each department each little section. And over them all the heads of the organisation conning and wheedling and manoevring and manipulating to score maximum dollars. It is a wonder anything worthwhile ever gets written and makes it to the marketplace and the user.

    The plain and simple fact is that a highly complex and very powerful prog should be plain and simple in use, especially in the beginning times, for the learner, the novice.

    It was once a major industry teaching people to use 'complex and powerful' progs. A major lucrative industry. How many millions were spent on learning IBM's Token Ring Networking - generating high paid lofty 'experts' dedicated to the proposition that only expensive study could fit you to manage a network, so incredibly 'complex and powerful' was it.

    And then Novell came along with a graphical user interface and childishly simple pick and click management. Exit Token Ring.

    Of course, that, too, was back in the days of paper manuals and Novell came with its complement of them and Novell, too, eventually generated schools and schools of tuition to create Novell network managers.

    Schools happily profiting from the chain of upgrades to Novell, each one of which required further school attendance.

    To this day Microsoft generates probably billions of dollars from training 'MCE's' I think they're called. A 'Microsoft Certified Engineer' - i.e. someone who knows how to use their programmes.

    Again, walkers on this path constantly find another upgrade in front of them that they have to encompass and pay for.

    Most of it is simply a scam. There's two major pushes in the computer software game: Innovation, creativity, intelligence to the point of genius on the one hand, Marketing, product differentiation, obscurantism, deception, trickery and downright nastiness on the other.

    Marketers like to have an unintelligible product on their hands. They can sell tuition. They like to be able to chop a product into all its various functions. They can sell each separately and know that a consumer of one will eventually be forced to go and buy the other. Destroy the functionality of a prog and make the consumer pay to get it back.

    I find with Autocad my particular little problem seems to be best solved with a LISP addin called TRAVERS. It works beautifully. In my current state of noviate ignorance I don't know if it is really true that this is the only reasonable way to do it but if it is then why? Why isn't this simple routine already hardcoded in the prog? That's a ridiculous state of affairs. It indicates to me that control has been taken away from the software development team and put into the hands of the bean counters, who wouldn't know a good prog if it hit them over the head. Not at all an unusual state of affairs in the software game, I'm sorry to say.

    Last edited by abrogard; 21st Sep 2009 at 02:50 am.

  6. #6
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    As with any program, there is a certain amount of training you must go through before you can use it efficiently and effectively. Even if that training is just a simple one day crash course to learn the very basics. You have not learned the basics, which is why you are having problems. I am self taught in over a dozen programs, and there isn't one of them that I was able to just jump in and start using right out of the box. The things you are trying to do are very simple, but until you know the correct procedures and techniques, you will continue to flounder. As I stated previously, Autocad is a very complex program and it should not be taken lightly. And I'm not saying that to try and impress you, it's just a simple fact. Autocad is not an easy program to master. Just ask anyone here. We've all been through it.

    But as for it not being as good as we think, you are correct. It is far from perfect. We complain about it's flaws and idiosyncrasies all the time. And, in my opinion, it is becoming far too bloated for its own good. I don't even use the latest versions because they are just becoming far too convoluted with stuff that I will never use, like all the 3D functionality they keep cramming into this program that should not even be used for 3D in my opinion. Autocad is a great 2D drafting program, but it is a terrible 3D program. And don't even get me started on the Ribbon.

    I wish Autodesk would adopt the KISS principle where Autocad is concerned. IMO they are killing this program.

    But anyway, get yourself a good book if you want to learn this program. Trust me, you will never be able to do it with just the Help files.
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  7. #7
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    Yep, well I've learned and used a lot of programmes, too, and I've done most of them without any training. If I remember right I learned my trade, right there in University, without any training. Shocking as that thought might be to some and shocking as it was to me at the time I found that I was expected to learn computer languages and computer programmes by teaching myself. By, in fact, immediately jumping in the deep end and doing the set project.

    And I found that, as with music, or swimming, or life itself, actually the best way to learn it was to just do it. And to this day I still know without a shadow of doubt that the best (in fact virtually the only) way to learn a new language is to set yourself a task and then do it.

    And there's a thing: I DON'T want to learn this programme. I just want to do things with it. No, not even that is really true: I just want to do things. Like most consumers of software, like, decidedly the younger generation, I just want to DO things and I don't care what I do them with. I have no, NO, sentimental attachment or brand loyalty to the old.

    I will take the quickest and easiest approach.

    I am not floundering in Autocad. I refuse to flounder. I don't have the time to flounder. I tried to find the simple answer to this simple question in their help screens and tutorials and whatnot and when I perceived it wasn't there I went straight to the forums and asked and if I hadn't got the answer there pretty quick I would have given up the whole thing and reverted to pen and pencil for this little task (submit a drawing to the local council) and waited until I got news that the Drawing progs of the world had suddenly come of age and enabled easy use for simple tasks.

    What I'm basically trying to do, the old monster that I am, is follow the kids in their progress. They make great strides, they leave us behind, they zoom into the future and they don't do it by struggling and sweating blood and wasting until hours absorbing thick manuals on how to get things done in some archaic horribly distorted and distended and badly maintained relic of the past. Do they?

    I've done my sweating on the books.

    I just need to make contact with a bright 17 year old somewhere who'll show me how to do it now, with today's tools.

    That bright 17 year old might be an Indian, a Chinese, a Russian, a Finn - tucked away isolated in the economic badlands on the fringe of our society that those countries represent. Pushed out by the market forces and the big players, unable to get a look in, unable even to get the names and presence of their progs known by us all.

    But slowly, slowly they'll make their way onto the stage. New paradigms, new algorithms, new everything.

    Currently the newest I'm aware of isn't doing the trick for me, as best I understand it. I get Sketchup and find I can't easily dimension it (meaning construct to my dimensions rather than 'add' dimensions to a construction) any more than I can Autocad. Same with some of the others I've got. Well, ALL of the others I've got.

    But I may have missed it in my hurried 'once over'. And it may be on the market (or freely open source available) right now, starting this week, with the latest version of the prog.

    You are such a sensible sounding person, your remarks are so well balanced and thoughtful, that I think you'll inevitably agree with me that for this trivial (apparently, in coding, merely a small free LISP routine) function with its enormous significance and utility, to be missing from Autocad is an enormous and ludicrous oversight.

    Even the dumbest bean counter should be able to see that if you had this up front you'd have dumb new beginners knocking off drawings of their homes, their blocks, their whatever within minutes.....

    Apparently no. Or is the situation worse than that? Very possibly so. It is very possibly mimicking exactly the Adobe paradigm. For I'm told there is variety of Autocad that one can buy. A Surveying variety. One 'designed' with Surveyors in mind. One that DOES include this feature (which, I say again, should be a basic feature in any sensible drafting prog).

    So perhaps this function is carefully left out of this variety of Autocad the better to suck some money out of you when you are forced (you think, in absence of knowledge of TRAVERS) to buy it.

    My friend, thank you for your remarks and your interest in my thread here, but no, I will not be wasting an ounce of energy on Autocad beyond some sort of statutory obligatory minimum any prog deserves.

    my best regards to you,

    ab
    Last edited by abrogard; 21st Sep 2009 at 10:54 pm.

  8. #8
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    One should also be able to swim the English Channel as well because all it takes is a swinging of the arms, some kicking of the legs and breathing but would you attempt to do so without practice? Give me a break!

    Plain vanilla out-of-the-box AutoCAD is not some magic program. Get over it. In the time it has evolved many things have gotten simplier. Boxes can be drawn with the rectangle command. It is no longer necessary to strike arcs to create polygons. There is multiline text, dynamic blocks, LISP routines to combine commands, standard linetypes, fonts and hatch patterns, quick dimensioning, etc., etc., etc. You want greater functionality then get out your wallet and pay for it. There are plenty of add-on packages and AutoDesk verticals as well as other AutoDesk products that will think for you while taking the tediousness out of the program. Try doing some of the same work on a drafting board with ink on vellum then you'll appreciate what you have and what you can add to the program by customizing to the way you work.
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  9. #9
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    Sorry, I fail to see the point of your post.

    regards,

    ab

  10. #10
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